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ICYMI: Rubio: Here’s How We Start America’s Revival

Oct 17, 2019 | Press Releases

America is Coming Apart — Here’s How We Start The Revival
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
October 17, 2019
Daily Caller
 
You can judge the health of a nation by the strength of its families. Are Americans having and raising children? Are we giving parents opportunities for stable jobs and the other requisite tools to raise healthy kids? When we look at the next generation, are we offering them a path to successful lives ahead?
 
Too often, our answer is “no.”
 
Many of the problems facing kids today, including poverty, housing, and poor health outcomes, are alarming and require our attention. But some of the most pressing issues today are new and represent a cultural crisis unique to younger generations.
 
Part of the problem lies with underlying shifts in family development. To many Americans, marriage now resembles a luxury good — a trend that precludes stable households from forming in the first place. An economic gap has emerged in which working-class Americans are marrying less and less frequently. As Charles Murray documented in “Coming Apart,” the percentage of American children living with both biological parents was identical for affluent and working-class families — 95 percent — in 1960. By 2005, a chasm had opened up, with 85 percent of affluent, and just 30 percent of working-class families, intact. For kids, an unstable environment at home translates directly to worse outcomes throughout life.
 
 

 
The experience of childhood itself has also changed. The decline of cornerstone institutions like parent-teacher associations, scout groups, and places of worship has left neighborhoods fragmented, denying a generation of children the opportunity to experience relationships built through strong community bonds. The subsequent void has been filled by social media which, in the absence of authentic relationships, spawns online bullying, widespread mental health issues, and countless hours formerly spent socializing, now spent alone.
 
From 2009 to 2017, the frequency of depression among American kids between ages 14 to 17 soared over 60 percent. The result, unsurprisingly, has been an epidemic of self-harm among young people. The teenage suicide rate has hit the highest recorded in American history.
 
What can we do to right these wrongs?
 
There are many factors that contribute to children’s well-being, but none is more important than strong families. We know this because it’s in our DNA, of course; stable, two-parent families have been the bedrock of all successful civilizations throughout all of history.
 

 
While those proposals are important, they only serve to treat the symptoms, not the cause. They may make it more affordable to raise a family, but they do not tell young adults why they should take on the sacrifice that starting a family and raising children requires. We need deeper cultural revival to do that.
 
Put another way, no law can force someone to be a better parent or spouse. But government officials can start by being more explicit about what makes strong families. Marriage should be a lifelong commitment between two people. Married couples should have and raise children. Similarly, abortion at any stage of pregnancy ends a human life that has been created by God. That the declining strength of families has occurred during the same period since abortion was legalized by Roe v. Wade should be no surprise. These truths should guide the interpretation of our existing laws.
 

 
Americans routinely report wanting more kids than they have. It’s no surprise that, lacking stable employment opportunities, our marriage and childbirth rates have fallen.
 

 
My parents’ hard work enabled me and my siblings to enjoy a secure, comfortable childhood and grow up into the people we are today. But without a productive economy that offered them those opportunities in the first place, things would be different. For the sake of the next generations of American families, it is incumbent on us to make sure that promise remains open.
 
Read the rest here.